South entrance ‘helps make case for city region devolution deal’

The new southern entrance at Leeds station
The new southern entrance at Leeds station
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WEST YORKSHIRE Combined Authority chairman Peter Box pointed to the new Leeds station entrance as an example of why more Government powers should be devolved to the region.

South Yorkshire councils have already struck a devolution deal with the Government but talks are ongoing over how other parts of the region should run their affairs.

One proposal would see West Yorkshire, York and three neighbouring North Yorkshire districts, join together in an area known as the Leeds City Region.

But a rival plan would see a single devolved area created stretching across West, North and East Yorkshire.

Coun Box, a supporter of the Leeds City Region plan, said: “Part of the funding for this project has come from the Combined Authority and Leeds City Council and I think it’s a great example of how by working together across West Yorkshire we can make a big difference.

“If you look at what’s been achieved over the last 12 months by the Combined Authority it is a long long list.

“Apperley station opened in December, we had a new bridge built over the River Aire and was put in over Christmas on the (Wakefield) eastern relief road and that’s going to create thousands of jobs, thousands of new houses. Kirkgate station was funded because of the Combined Authority.”

He continued: “That’s why we need to get a devolution deal from Government.

“The reality is South Yorkshire have gone and done their own deal so there is no ‘Yorkshire’ left. What we’ve got to do is to get a deal based on the economic footprint, the city region, which we know works well.”